Bats dropping a liquid when flying

I moved a tree, and accidentally flushed out lots of bats. When they came out, some drops of some liquid fell on my face. What was that liquid? Saliva? Should I worry about rabies?

I am not a bat expert, but I would guess it is likely urine if it comes from the bats. Urine does not carry rabies, at least in humans, according to the CDC. I’m not qualified to provide medical advice though.

I would think there’s also a reasonable chance that the liquid was water shaken off leaves or sap from the tree as well and not necessarily from the bats.

6 Likes

Agreed, it is most likely urine if it came from the bats, or just water from the trees. Rabies exposure is really not likely, but it’s never impossible when in contact with bats (or any mammal).

2 Likes

So, is it normal for bats to pee when scared/flying?

I would think so. Also, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

2 Likes

But, I must say, it definitely came from the bats. It cannot be water or dew on the leaves, it hasn’t rained in a long while, and dew never falls here. It was too watery to be sap, also.

not answers, but questions:

  1. bats fly right side up but rest upside down, right? if you were to hang upside down from your legs, would you physically be able to pee?
  2. watching birds, one of the things that lets you know they are about to fly away is that they poop. do they do this because they are scared or because being llight is better for flight?
2 Likes

Bats do a lot of urinating while hanging in their roost spot, as evidenced by stains on structures they use. How they do it, can’t say.

2 Likes

https://youtu.be/H9ZK_NjBoJI a lil bit of gymnastics lol

4 Likes

Well, there you go. But I wonder how microbats crammed into a roost site in large numbers do it. I bet they just let it fly rather than try to elbow their way to a clear spot.

1 Like

I suspect it’s in response to being scared, with the benefit of it making them lighter.

1 Like

Will bats do the same?

I honestly don’t know anything about bats. I do remember being under a fig tree in Mexico a few years ago with a bat biologist and we definitely felt liquid on us, which I assumed was urine. Didn’t see any feces on us, thankfully.

1 Like

Of course, fig trees here in Mexico can have more bats than leaves at night.

1 Like

Can you get the latest Attenborough documentary on Mammals? It is on BBC iPlayer but I don’t know what the availability is outside UK. The last episode was on Sunday and it includes a bat peeing. It did a gymnastic turn so that it didn’t wet its own fur, just the bats below.

3 Likes